In this scientific paper, students read about how the traits of some dragonflies are changing as they adapt to the effects of climate change.
Students gain insight into how to answer a question using the scientific method, read a simplified academic paper, answer comprehension questions, and watch videos to understand how scientists are investigating the changes in the color of dragonflies' wings due to warming temperatures.
This resource allows students to apply their knowledge of adaptation and natural selection to an event taking place now.
The resource includes additional lesson ideas, related articles, and a glossary of key terms.
Teachers must fill in a form with their name, email, and school information to access the teacher's key, which includes answers to the discussion questions.
The videos provide context and background information, but the lesson can be completed offline if need be, without the videos.
It may be helpful for some students to use the audio version of the article (the first video on the webpage).
The article is available in both upper and lower reading levels. The article for lower reading levels simplifies the language and includes more definitions in the glossary. It may be most suitable for the lower grade levels.
Younger students can work in pairs to answer the comprehension questions.
The lesson plan ideas and related articles listed include experiments, worksheets, and videos that can be used to better students' understanding of animal adaptation.
To learn more about how animals are adapting to climate change, watch this video about the Pika and listen to this podcast about adaptation.
Some insects are highly sensitive to temperature. Global warming, therefore, can affect the way insects interact with each other. This research investigates how rising temperatures are changing dragonfly mating habits. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
HS-ESS3-3 Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
MS-LS4-6 Use mathematical representations to support explanations of how natural selection may lead to increases and decreases of specific traits in populations over time.
HS-LS4-3 Apply concepts of statistics and probability to support explanations that organisms with an advantageous heritable trait tend to increase in proportion to organisms lacking this trait.
HS-LS4-5 Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in environmental conditions may result in: (1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, and (3) the extinction of other species.
Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.